Have You Met?

If “Life is a Highway”, then Mike Shaw, prestigious car dealership owner, has certainly been on the right side of the road. After college, Mike worked in the car business; and in 1973, he worked his way up to General Manager of a car dealership in Texas. Besides running successful car dealerships, Mr. Shaw has been a “Committed to Colorado” community leader since the early 90’s.

Growing up in Colorado, the welfare of children and education has always been his primary concern. Mr. Shaw serves on numerous executive committees and boards and has sponsored and co-chaired many non-profit events. Much of his time and expertise is devoted to supporting many worthy causes (see the “Community Involvement” listing below).

A friend of Mike’s had this to say about him: “Mike has given much to the community in good and bad times. He is a very kind, giving, generous person.”

In order for Mike Shaw Automotive to continue being “King of the Road”, Mike insists that his sales staff and employees are continuously courteous and professional. He encourages them to work as a team and to maintain high standards when it comes to their clients – who are known to be loyal, repeat Mike Shaw customers.

With pride in what he and his people have accomplished, Mike Shaw says: “We believe that giving back to the community is also a big part of our continued success.”

Mike, you have run a successful, reputable auto dealership for many years, what truly is the key to your business success? Our dealerships play by a firm rule for “no excuses”, and the guiding principles are quality comes first, customers are always the focus, and integrity is never compromised.

Is that part of your company philosophy or “mantra”? Yes, indeed

What has been your greatest challenge? Offering products the customers want in an ever changing market. I have met that challenge by providing a diversity of brands and products in a variety of different markets.

I know myself, as a Mike Shaw customer, you have had many of the same employees working at your dealerships for many years; what do you attribute their job satisfaction and loyalty to? The work atmosphere is one of respect, integrity and hard work. Sales results are very important, but they are not the only criteria by which I judge employees. I make it clear to employees what my standards are and I reward and promote those who live up to the standards. In fact, many employees have even brought their own children to follow in their footsteps.

Mr. Shaw, tell us why we should come to Mike Shaw Saab to buy a new Saab or Pre-Owned Saab and not anywhere else? We have more experience in sales and service in Saabs than anyone else in the Rocky Mountain region.

Is there a charitable event you look forward to attending each year? The Latin American Education Foundation Dinner. It supports my top charitable giving priority: Kids and Education, which benefits a group of young people that needs special support and encouragement to go to college. It is a well organized and - attended event, as well.

Mike. Tell us about The Mike Shaw 5K Run? It is the St. Joseph Hospital Stadium Stampede. It raises money for a good cause – St. Joseph’s Hospital.

What sort of future do you see for charitable giving with the next few generations coming up after us? I see more of the private corporate sector institutionalize their giving through their own foundations and less giving by individuals and small business. Volunteerism will be less since more members of families will continue and increase their time spent on the job and volunteers are the engines that drive individual giving. Small business may decrease participation if they do not see recognition for their efforts; those efforts may be overshadowed by big corporate giving.

If you became President of the U.S., what’s the first thing you would do? This is too hot to answer.

What do you do to keep yourself in the right mindset? I love the business of running the business, so keeping the mindset is a by product of that.

Is what you are doing right now, what you always thought you’d be doing with your life? I have been in the automotive sales business all of my adult life and could not imagine doing otherwise.

What is your personal favorite car to drive? Saab 9.5 or a Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban or Denali/Yukon.

Do you have any solutions you could offer to the American car manufacturers who are struggling with sales right now? Be flexible in design and production and keep the most current needs and wants of customers as the top priority in every decision made.

How can someone find balance between their professional and personal life? It is an on-going struggle to keep business from overwhelming my personal life. Fortunately, I have a wife of 38 years who understands, and I have brought many of my immediate family into the business. I carve out family time with them all. The key to this is good time management and delegation of business related responsibilities to the right people.

There is a big gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country; what can be done to narrow that gap? Keep our economy vigorous and strong and have the private sector step up to the plate to make sure the poor have access to services and GOOD EDUCATION to compete in the work place.

What is your favorite vacation spot? My Ranch in Fredericksburg, TX

If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title of it be? “My Life is my Business…and My Family.”

Do you have a quote or saying that has helped guide you through life? Believe you can, believe you can’t you are right either way.

What can make you laugh every time? My dogs.

What do you see as some of the major changes in the transportation industry in the future? Let’s say 10-15 years from now, what type of vehicles will we be traveling in? Alternative, non carbon resource fueled. Less variety of chassis, but more variety in what is placed in and on the chassis. Lighter, stronger, safer with development of new materials.

What are your priorities for the future? Continue to run a successful business while spending more time with family and grandkids.

How would you like to be remembered by future generations? As an honest, ethical automobile dealer who gave back to his community and who was a family man.

Mr. Mike Shaw is proud to support the following community organizations:


• Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
• Lifetime Member of the National Western Stock Show Association.
• Member, The Rotary Club of Denver.
• Trustee, Boy Scouts of America, Denver Area Council.
• Member of Colorado Concern.
• Trustee of the Board of Kent Denver School.
• Member of St. John Episcopal Church and its Strategic Planning Committee.
• Chair, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation Board.
• Board Member, Colorado Uplift.
• Member of Colorado Forum.
• Executive Committee Member of the Two Percent Club.
• Board of Directors, Kempe Children's Foundation.
• Advisory Board Member for Girl Scouts - Mile Hi Council.
• Board of Trustees Member, Denver Zoological Foundation.
• Board Member, Metropolitan State College of Denver Foundation.
• Member, El Pomar Foundation 2001 Selection Commission.


• Member, General Motors National Dealer Council.
• Chairman, General Motors Western Region Dealer Council.
• Member, Buick Western Region Marketing Advisory Board.
• Dealer Representative, Chevrolet Sport Utility Brand Management Team.
• Dealer Representative, Saab Cars, USA Vision Team.
• Member of the General Motors Access Team and Brand Critical Standards Team working with General Motors North American Operations.
• Member, General Motors e-Dealer Advisory Council.
• Member, GMAC Dealer Advisory Board.
• Member, Saab Business Team.
• General Motors Mark of Excellence – 1999.
• Best in Class for Buick 1996, 97, 98.
• Genuine Leaders for Chevrolet - 1997, 98.
• Corporate Advocacy Award for LARASA – 1998.
• Helen Phelps Award of Corporate Advocacy For The Denver Teachers Awards-1999.
• University Of Colorado Investment In Excellence Award – 1999.
• Martin Luther King Jr. Business Social Responsibility Award – 2001.